“You’ll have to rest here for three months.”
“Impossible! There has to be some other way.”
“Of course there is, but it takes a lot of divine g—”
“I need it done by today, what do you need?”
“Two custom grade 3 runes.”
“No problem. I also need you to make a trip to the Forest Plane, I need a priestess for the battle.”
“The Church doesn’t generally involve itself in planar—”
“A grade 4 rune. I’m holding another convention soon, they’ll get more expensive.”
Moments after this rapid conversation, timeforce streamed out from between Noelene’s eyebrows and suffused Richard’s body, instantly clearing out the remainder of the dark energy within his body. The slightest of wrinkles appeared on her face, but it quickly disappeared as she tapped him on the shoulder and pulled him up, “There you go.”
“That fast?” Richard muttered in awe.
Noelene rolled her eyes at him, “Of course. How complicated could something be if you’re willing to throw divine grace at it? Give me ten minutes to prepare, I’ll have someone bring my staff and robes over.”
The sheer efficiency shocked Richard, and he couldn’t help but whine, “Grand Priestess Noelene, didn’t you say the Church doesn’t involve itself in planar wars? What’s this eagerness?”
She rolled her eyes again, “I said in general. Equal exchange is a core principle of the Eternal Dragon, of course it takes precedence over a general guideline. Understand?”
“Sigh. Yes.” At this point, Richard wondered whether the old dragon would become someone’s mount for the right kind of money. He stretched his body, groaning with relief, “Let’s go in two hours. I’m still waiting for some other people.”
The two continued with small talk for a while, and at some point Noelene spoke up about another concern, “I heard you owe other people some runes as well?”
“Yes,” Richard answered honestly.
This caused her to frown, “But you’re still promising me one.”
“I already owe so much,” he beamed, “What’s one more?”
Richard laughed heartily, “Hey, think of the kinds of people I owe. Do you think they’d let someone who can’t pay up owe them favours?”
“Ugh… Fine.” Noelene knew that his words made sense. If legendary beings could take Richard’s word for it, why couldn’t a grand priestess of the Eternal Dragon?
Forest Plane, deep within the woods.
Phaser was walking around at leisure, her eyes occasionally turning scarlet and releasing a burst of energy that tore the will of the forest nearby to shreds. This energy would coagulate into a pellet-like form, shooting off in a random direction. If this energy ever pierced through the blockade and came within range of Emerald City, either Richard or the broodmother’s clone would be able to track her down.
Outside of two elves on the first day, she hadn’t met any opposition so far. The only threat to her seemed to be the forest itself, confusing her direction and breaking all contact with the broodmother, Richard, and Waterflower.
Having walked for days since her last meal, she started to grow tired and leaned against a large tree. The tree shook as Annihilation slowly pierced into it, almost screaming in deep pain as its leaves scattered away and branches began to wither. A minute later, the tree had wilted completely while the special unit’s skin was starting to glow. She hadn’t used this energy absorption ability in a long time, but with new modifications after the incident with Zangru she could absorb even the life of trees.
The first thing Phaser did after recovering was to send another ripple of energy shooting through the forest, leaving a hole in another tree nearby. This tired her out once more, but she continued to extract energy from the flora and thus weaken the forest itself. Her only regret was that she hadn’t seen an elf in all this while, almost as though they were afraid of her power and thus went into hiding. Thinking of this, she couldn’t help but frown, “Do they know?”
In another part of the forest, Tiramisu and Mountainsea were wondering about something similar. The ogre cut an imposing figure as he walked about, heavy steps causing the earth to shake. The annoyance was obvious in his eyes, and he even swung Tenton repeatedly to cleave down any trees that he found displeasing. There was no way to find one’s direction in this forest, and the humidity and smell of rot left him constantly irritated.
At this point, the ogre was even pretending like the trees were elves, giving them random names before killing them in one blow. Many days had passed since he was supposed to meet Richard, but he still hadn’t made it out. Given the situation he was facing, he worried for his master’s safety.
“When can we go looking for Master, Princess?” he asked, snapping Mountainsea out of her thought. The girl lifted her head off his nape and looked around from atop his shoulders, finding no change at all.
“I don’t know,” she said with a shake of her head.
“We can’t just wander around forever,” Medium Rare grumbled.
“We’ll find our way back,” the girl said absent-mindedly, “Even Richard hasn’t found his yet.”
The statement sounded simple, but the ogre felt like it was loaded with other meanings. He racked his brains in silence for a while before shaking his head and speaking up, “Your Highness, can you come down and walk for a while?”
Mountainsea groaned as though she had just woken up, jumping down from the ogre’s body. The ground shook more violently than any of the ogre’s steps. She looked at him with surprise, “Why are you tired so soon? It hasn’t been more than a few weeks yet,”
Tiramisu frowned as he looked at the steel rod on the girl’s back and the black bracer on her arm. One was named Eleventon, and the other had been forged from high-grade lafite that had been hammered so much it couldn’t even be considered the same material anymore. Deciding not to explain, he changed topics, “What if we can never find Master? This damned forest!”
“Then we’ll just tear the woods apart. The forest can’t have a will if it doesn’t exist.”
Just like that, the ogre mage and barbarian girl ventured deeper into the forest. Ancient trees fell like sticks wherever they passed by.
The planar portal glowed once more as Richard returned, this time with Noelene and four clerics of the Eternal Dragon with him. Behind them were four hundred shadowspears that were armed to the teeth, followed by mages of the Deepblue alongside elites of the Orleans Family and Nyris’ private troops.
The astral chrysalis rounded out the rear, hundred-metre-long body taking a long time to pass through. The now-enormous creature spat out a dozen sealed chests before flying off to meet the broodmother’s clone.
Richard immediately gathered all of the officials in the city, giving them their jobs. There were now more than ten thousand soldiers in Emerald City, many of whom were quite powerful. The new soldiers would take a day to rest and reorganise, but he didn’t even bother waiting as he instructed those who were ready to set off immediately. Those who had just arrived would follow behind when they were ready. Once he sent out the specific deployment orders, all of his captains were taken aback. He had left only a thousand guards behind; he was clearly moving out in full strength!
Once the first wave of troops moved out, Richard himself headed in the opposite direction until he was a hundred kilometres away from Emerald City and close to the broodmother’s base. Choosing a random area and digging a hole, he placed the seed of the Golden World Tree within and sliced his wrist, chanting a long spell and using his own blood to awaken the plant.
The seed immediately absorbed all of the blood, and even as Richard started to fill out the earth it germinated into a tiny sapling with a single green leaf. He immediately felt a little dizzy, as though something had just passed through his soul.
At the same time, all the trees of life in the forest started shaking while the world tree of the Jadeleaf Tribe started shedding leaves. They all realised that there was now a new world tree on this plane.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo